Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- It was an early morning for a number law enforcement officials on Friday, but they were not fighting crime.
"These guys are kicking off our weekend of festivities out at Fort Jackson, which is our Summer games for Special Olympics South Carolina," said Barry Coats, president and CEO of Special Olympics South Carolina.
Coats said, "There we will have over 1500 athletes and coaches out this weekend participating."
Coats is thankful for all of the law enforcement officials that have worked so hard to help with this years event.
Erik Murrah of the Lexington County Sheriff's Department was one of the runners that ran in the event.
Murrah said, "Oh it is great, it is not just that we just get out and help the community, we do that, but as you just heard from our sergeant, it is a passion, it is something he really believes in, we can make a different in people lives and that makes it worth it."
The run from the South Carolina State Farmers Market to the steps of the State House is not the easiest track, but well worth it according to Murrah.
Murrah said, "Whatever we can do to play our part in improving that, we are going to do it, even if it means running a tortuous nine miles carrying a torch."
Even if the run is tough, you will not hear or see the runners complain, because they know what they are running for when they make the long jog.
Coats said, "They believe in the athletes that we serve and when you see these guys interacting with our athletes, it is awesome, they truly care about our population and care about making a difference in their local community and in these guys lives that they support so much."
For more information on this weekends games, go to Special Olympics South Carolina's website at http://so-sc.org/.